How can I output/record separate audio channels?

Lets say you wanted to make a multi-track recording, with different patterns playing at the same time, but recorded separately.. Or wanted to route the audio from some patterns into external effects processor. How is this possible?

Tidal’s audio engine is (most often) SuperDirt, and the key to routing audio channels is understanding how to configure and use orbits. You can think of each orbit as an audio output, with its own set of global effects (by default, reverb and delay).

Have a look at SuperDirt’s documentation, in particular setup with options bit.  You’ll want to paste the setup code into the supercollider editor window. If you save it in your supercollider startup file it will automatically run when you open supercollider – you can find that file via the menus.

There are probably only two bits that you will want to change in the setup code. If you wanted six stereo outputs, that would require 12 channels in total, so you would set the number of output bus channels accordingly, i.e.:

s.options.numOutputBusChannels = 12;

You assign the orbits to separate stereo channels by offsetting each one, like this:

~dirt.start(57120, [0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10]);

You might also be tempted to change the number in this line:

~dirt = SuperDirt(2, s);

However if you want to work in stereo, you should keep this number to 2, i.e. the number of channels per orbit.

Then to send a tidal pattern to a particular orbit, you just use a parameter, e.g. d1 $ sound "bd sn" # orbit 2 to send it to the third one (counting from 0). You’re now free to route the audio to a DAW for e.g. effects processing or recording, or record all the channels straight from supercollider into a single multichannel file. Have a look around the SuperDirt hacks folder for more fun with orbits.

4 thoughts on “How can I output/record separate audio channels?”

  1. Great explanation! Could you point me to any resources that explain how to route a separated channel to another application from sc?

  2. The show at the Mattress Factory was using a special 8 channel sound system. So my audio output from Ableton Live to 8 channels of outputs on my audio interface and then to the speaker system. I was able to use Ableton Live to program audio pans on the 8 channel system, or direct certain sounds to certain speakers. @CharStiles received a copy of my master audio output, which controlled parameters in her live coded visuals. She specifically frequency binned my audio input to get the gain for a few frequency bands and use these to make her visuals audio-reactive, as well as the MIDI note and duration information that I sent her from every track s lead synth line. She can tell you more about her own live coding visual process and how she unpacked and used my audio and MIDI signals.” -Danielle

  3. The show at the Mattress Factory was using a special 8 channel sound system. So my audio output from Ableton Live to 8 channels of outputs on my audio interface and then to the speaker system. I was able to use Ableton Live to program audio pans on the 8 channel system, or direct certain sounds to certain speakers. @CharStiles received a copy of my master audio output, which controlled parameters in her live coded visuals. She specifically frequency binned my audio input to get the gain for a few frequency bands and use these to make her visuals audio-reactive, as well as the MIDI note and duration information that I sent her from every track s lead synth line. She can tell you more about her own live coding visual process and how she unpacked and used my audio and MIDI signals.” -Danielle

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